Commercial fishing for Large Coastal Sharks will close in Louisiana waters at 11:30 p.m., this Friday, July 19.
The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico at this time. The commercial season will remain closed in federal waters until 30 days after promulgation of the 2014 seasonal rule for harvest of sharks in the Federal Register. At this time, no date has been set for the re-opening of the commercial Large Coastal Shark fishery in Louisiana waters.
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell Large Coastal Sharks or their fins is prohibited.
The Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
No person shall purchase, barter, trade, or exchange shark in excess of the designated trip limits or from any person who does not possess a commercial state shark permit or federal commercial directed or incidental limited access permit or federal shark research permit, if applicable.
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.
The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal shark in Louisiana waters remains open at this time.